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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - November 08, 2006

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Winter trimming and shaping of native perennials
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Granted, it's a bit early, but for planning purposes: What is the best care for shrub-like woody perennials, like Lantana, Copper Canyon Daisy, Salvia greggii, Chile Pequin, Eupatorium wrightii, Pavonia? Cut back to the ground? Light shaping? Something in between?

ANSWER:

Something in between is the best plan. At the end of the growing season you can cut these particular plants back by 1/3 to 1/2. However, if there are any berries/fruit left on the plants, you might leave these for the wildlife and trim the plants a bit later—until all the fruits are gone or just before it is time for new growth to form.

 

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